In our progressively gadget-cluttered homes, smart home gadgets that perform double duty make a lot of sense. So we were interested when Aqara unveiled their security camera, the Aqara Camera Hub G2H.
It’s similar in idea to the Wyze Cam; both are small home surveillance cameras that also serve as a bridge for their own home automation sensors that connect with Alexa and Google Assistant.
The $69.99 Aqara Cam is more expensive than the $20 Wyze Cam, but it does not depend on online storage and has a far larger variety of compatible attachments.
It’s also compatible with HomeKit Secure Video, and all of the sensors are visible in the Apple Home app.
Features of the Acara Security Camera
With a soft touch all-white frame and a slight curve to round things off at the top, Aqara’s G2H Camera has a sleek and fun design. The indoor-only camera is small and light, spanning around three and a half inches tall and two and a half inches broad when in a flat stand position. The camera’s stand pulls out from beneath it, enabling it to swivel and tilt. It’s also magnetic, letting it to adhere to surfaces without the need for an extra mount component. Aqara contains a metal plate that mounts to a wall and a mounting tape-attached pad for non-magnetic surfaces. Surprisingly, Aqara does not provide the screws for the metal frame in the package.
In the package, Aqara also provides a micro-USB cable and a power brick for charging the G2H. The camera, like the USB cable, doesn’t necessitate the special brick; it works perfectly fine with standard 5V USB outlets. The power input is located at the rear of the camera, under a pair of ports for the inbuilt speaker, just as you’d expect. Finally, Aqara provides a tiny tool for resetting the camera that appears remarkably similar to Apple’s sim-ejection gadget used with iPhones.
The front of the G2H is very plain, with the camera’s lens taking up about half of the viewable side. The camera has a broad 140-degree field of vision and can record and transmit video in 1080p high definition quality. The G2H uses a standard infrared framework for night vision, which produces a black and white image in the dark, and it has the option to rotate its direction to accommodate its adaptable mount.
A tiny indicator light is located underneath the lens and is used to convey the device’s states, such as solid blue for power and connectivity, and red for active broadcasting and recording. A tiny port just below the LED houses the noise-canceling microphone, which allows for two-way audio when used with the inbuilt speaker. A micro-SD card slot allows up to 32GB for local recordings, and a small pinhole fits the reset tool to wipe everything over under the folding stand.
The head of the G2H is where things become fascinating, despite the fact that it only has one button. Simply holding the lone button for five seconds allows you to leave video messages for someone else in the house, which is the first time we’ve seen this functionality on a HomeKit camera. The actual action starts when you push the button three times in a row, which activates a Zigbee 3.0 radio inside the camera. This feature enables the camera to serve as a hub for Aqara’s various accessories, such as temperature sensors, light switches, and buttons. In most instances, accessories that connect with the camera will immediately function with HomeKit, thus turning the G2H into a full-fledged replacement for Aqara’s current hub.
Despite its cheap price and whimsical appearance, the Aqara G2H delivers a fantastic HomeKit experience. Whether you’re just getting started with HomeKit, want to add some interesting accessories to your current smart home, or want an inexpensive indoor camera, the G2H has you covered.